Chilling Impact of Strikes on Road Safety
Amidst a potentially lethal combination of frost and a Road Gritting Strike, drivers should take as many precautions as possible to avoid road traffic collisions. The Department of Infrastructure has announced that people should ‘avoid travel, if possible.’ Unlike those taking part in the strike on Thursday 18th January 2024, it is business as usual for many other workers in the private sector. This article discusses the potential impact of icy roads collisions for those travelling to work.
Accidents on the road in bad conditions can often be serious and unfortunately in some instances, can be life changing or fatal. This is particularly true during the winter, where ice and snow on the roads and pavements can make very dangerous and slippery surfaces. The Department for Infrastructure has a duty to maintain Road Safety, and this includes strategies to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads. Such strategies would include gritting the roads when ice or snow is forecasted to keep them safe.
However, the Unite Union, the body representing Civil Service workers, has announced that from the 18th to the 25th January 2024, staff responsible for road safety will be on strike. The Department has said that ‘with cold weather forecast for this week, the industrial action will cause disruption to our winter gritting service.’ It is clear that there will be some sort of gritting service provided, but the department has described this as a ‘fraction’ of its normal gritting service. This would suggest that there is a higher likelihood that those travelling to work over the next week will be doing so on an ungritted road.
Drivers have a duty to take reasonable care to ensure the safety of other all other road users and in what is likely to be more hazardous conditions, extra caution and care is required. The highway code advises that in icy conditions, stopping distances should be increased by a factor of 10 to ensure safety. Higher speed increases the chances of a collision and loss of control; therefore, it is important to watch your speed and if necessary, leave earlier to ensure you have enough time to get to work.
If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a collision that is not your fault, please contact us immediately and please try to take photographs of the scene. Check out our Road Traffic Accident Checklist and safe driving!